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on this issue and i thank majority leader reid for assuring we have the opportunity to debate and consider these amendments and the very important issues that they reflect here today. i urge all of my colleagues to consider carefully and then support these amendments to the f.a.a. we cannot let the impending deadline distract us from the important opportunity to conduct oversight and implement responsible reforms. to simply be rushed to passage when we have known the deadline was approaching for years strikes me as an abrogation of our fundamental oversight responsibility. in my view, this chamber deserves a full and informed debate about our intelligence-gathering procedures and their potentially very real impact on americans' privacy rights, and we need it sooner rather than later. these amendments would allow us to have that conversation and to work together on a path that strikes the essential balance between privacy and security for the citizens of these united states. thank you. with that, madam president, i yield the floor. madam president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presid
have to have that first vote done in a timely way so that both senator reid and senator mcconnell can leave to have the designated meeting with president obama. mr. cochran: mr. president, let me join with the senator from maryland in commending all senators for the expeditious way we've been able to move this bill but particularly the chairwoman herself, who's provided strong leadership, capable leadership, fairness, a sense of fairness for all senators, and i thank her for the honor of serving with her on this committee. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate senatorses can attend the weekly caucus meetings. this morning they approve and extension of the farm intelligence v it allows the government to continue intercepting overseas communication. it extends legal immunity phone companies that help the government wiretap the domestic phone calls. president obama plans to sign the bill. when the senate is back we are expecting senators to continued work on the $60 billion hurricane sandy relief package. negotiations continue on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.
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